Use of abstract concepts (e.g., truth) is one of the most sophisticated abil2 ities that humans possess. Explaining how we develop this ability and how abstract concepts are represented constitutes one of the main challenges faced by theories of embodied and grounded cognition. In this chapter, we address this issue by focusing on the mechanisms underlying the processing of abstract concepts. We propose that metacognition—the set of capacities through which an operating subsystem is evaluated and represented by another subsystem—can ground the meaning of concepts, and that this grounding is particularly important for abstract concepts. In addition, metacognition can be applied to concept use itself. In this connection, the monitoring component of metacognition is particularly relevant: it can provide awareness of the inadequacies of our knowledge of abstract concepts, expressing a judgment of scarce confidence. This monitoring process can lead to two different but not mutully exclusive outcomes. We propose that both these outcomes have an embodied counterpart, the activation of the mouth motor system. The first is the use of inner speech, which aims to search for possible further meanings and/or to further clarify the word meaning. The second is the preparation to request the help of other—better authoritative—people (social metacognition), when our knowledge has gaps, the need of social deference is stronger.

Abstract Concepts and Metacognition: Searching for Meaning in Self and Others / Borghi, A. M.; Fini, C.; Tummolini, L.. - (2021), pp. 1-10. [10.1007/978-3-030-78471-3].

Abstract Concepts and Metacognition: Searching for Meaning in Self and Others

Borghi A. M.
Primo
;
Fini C.
Secondo
;
2021

Abstract

Use of abstract concepts (e.g., truth) is one of the most sophisticated abil2 ities that humans possess. Explaining how we develop this ability and how abstract concepts are represented constitutes one of the main challenges faced by theories of embodied and grounded cognition. In this chapter, we address this issue by focusing on the mechanisms underlying the processing of abstract concepts. We propose that metacognition—the set of capacities through which an operating subsystem is evaluated and represented by another subsystem—can ground the meaning of concepts, and that this grounding is particularly important for abstract concepts. In addition, metacognition can be applied to concept use itself. In this connection, the monitoring component of metacognition is particularly relevant: it can provide awareness of the inadequacies of our knowledge of abstract concepts, expressing a judgment of scarce confidence. This monitoring process can lead to two different but not mutully exclusive outcomes. We propose that both these outcomes have an embodied counterpart, the activation of the mouth motor system. The first is the use of inner speech, which aims to search for possible further meanings and/or to further clarify the word meaning. The second is the preparation to request the help of other—better authoritative—people (social metacognition), when our knowledge has gaps, the need of social deference is stronger.
978-3-030-78470-6
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1578299
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